TheStreet.com's Jim Cramer says too much time has passed, too many institutions are out of cash.
When we say "too big to fail," what we mean is an entity that has so many tentacles in so many parts of the economic superstructure that if it failed, the consequences would be too grave for the system itself.
With the demise of Lehman, we at last see what it is like to have something too big to fail, fail. That's why you can see every insurer go down in the beat of an eyelash, or every broker roll over with lightning speed. It is how you could see commercial paper lines frozen and how you could expect money funds to crater and break the buck.
Lehman was twice as big as Bear and much more far-reaching. It was the other side of the trade, we are discovering, for myriad financial players. Its paper pervaded the system and was seemingly owned like U.S. government paper was. It was levered against and it was priceless collateral that is, well, priceless collateral. It did things with your margin account to gain you a return that reduced your cash to unsecured status.
In short, Lehman may bring down the Western financial world....MORE